In response to the growing COVID-19 (coronavirus pandemic), the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County will close all facilities to the public beginning Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Library leadership will reassess the closure on a weekly basis and use current informatation from health officials to determine the best date for reopening.
A staff member at the Library’s Distribution Center has voluntarily self-quarantined. There are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Library staff, and no reported cases of staff exposure to the virus.
“The latest information form the governor’s office, which indicates that aggressive early social distancing can stop COVID-19 from exponentially spreading, helped us make this decision,” said Paula Breahm-Heeger, the Eva Romaine Coombe Director of the Library. “Declaration of the city-wide and county -wide states of emergency, as well as the voluntary self-quarantine of a staff member, also convinced us this closure is in the best interest of public safety. This was a very difficult decision we did not make without much careful deliberation.”
The Library is asking customers to hold on to their material until further notice. Due dates will be extended so fines will not be assessed.
ELECTION DAY –
Any Libray location designated as a polling place will remain so and will be open for voting on election day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
All staff not reporting for work due to Library closing to the public will be paid for their regularly scheduled hours based on the Library’s Absence Because of Emergency Closing Policy.
“We encourage our customers to use eBranch, which features digital version of books, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines and more,” say Brehm-Heeger. “We’re redirecting more of our funds toward digital content to make sure even more digital resources are available for our customers during this time.”
Ohio residents have the optoin to sign up for a free Library card online, so they can begin using the Library eBranch feature as soon as they receive their confirmation email.
For updates about Library services and responses during this time, visit: CincinnatiLibrary.org/COVID19.